New long-term tourist visas in Thailand

All the talk about letting tourists into the country again has kept both locals and travellers abuzz. Today, the Thai cabinet approved a new type of tourist visa that allows visitors to stay in the country for up to 9 months.

Proposed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, this new long-term tourist visa will be valid for 90-days upon issue, but can be extended twice for an equal time period each. This allows the visa to be valid for a total of 270 days (~9 months). The extensions will cost ฿2,000 (~USD64) each.

2-week quarantine required

Visitors will be required to quarantine for 2 weeks at a hotel or hospital, said Traisulee Traisornranakul, spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office. She also mentioned that travellers would need to present proof of payment for their stay in the country, whether in the form of a hotel reservation or condo room lease.

“The target is to welcome 100-300 visitors a week, or up to 1,200 people a month, and generate income of about 1 billion baht a month,” she said, as reported by Bangkok Post. It was not mentioned if only visitors from certain countries were allowed.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that people could travel in for tourism or health services, and could stay in “alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas or at hospitals that function as quarantine facilities.”

Recently, the Phuket Model was put on hold after Thailand reported an increase in cases. However, the plan has been extended to other cities across the country like Chonburi and Bangkok.

This tourist visa is not to be confused with the one proposed by the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), which would allow visitors from selected “safe countries” to visit Thailand without having to quarantine.

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